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Detroit Woman Shot and Killed While Seeking Help, Family Seeks Justice

Over the weekend, 19 year-old Renisha McBride was shot in a Detroit suburb while seeking help according to her family. Details surrounding the teenagers death remain unclear, but even in the hazy understanding of the tragedy we now, it is apparent that this was a senseless killing.



Read the video transcript below:

Anchor: This young woman's family learns new details of her tragic death. But the more they find out, the more upset they're getting. A woman shot dead. Her body dumped. Her family devastated but now police say it may have been just a tragic mistake. They say that someone killed her because they thought she was a criminal. Andrea Isom now in Dearborn Heights with more.

Andrea Isom: I'm going to read you a sentence from a press release issued to us from the Dearborn Heights police. And it says, "A 19 year-old Detroit woman was fatally shot while standing on the front porch of the home." With that being said her family says that this was no accident. This was no self defense because they say they were not told that she did anything wrong at all. They want the man responsible, the shooter, the killer, to pay because right now they believe he's getting away with murder.

Bernita Spinks/Aunt: This man just came to the door. Somebody just knocking. She didn't break into his house. She didn't break a window. You see somebody on your porch and you just start shooting? And then you say it was accidental? That wasn't accidental. That wasn't accidental.

Voice of Andrea Isom: 19 year-old Renisha McBride is dead. Police telling us she took her last breath on this porch on Outer Drive in Dearborn Heights.

Andrea Isom: So you did hear a gun shot?
Neighbor: Yeah. It was pretty close.

Andrea Isom: It was police's first thought, and the family says that they were first told that the body was dumped in this area. But no, she died here. Right here. And detectives have identified the man who did it.

Bernita Spinks: When she was leaving off the porch, she was shot in the back of the head. Half of her face is gone. We have to go and bury her, and they don't even know if she's going to be able to have an open casket.

Dmetria Burnett/Cousin: You wanted her dead. That's my opinion. You wanted her dead for you to just shoot somebody in the head and not think twice about it. He shouldn't be free at all.

Bernita Spinks: This is a senseless death. My niece is gone. I'm feeling it was racist. You saw this Black, African young lady knocking--not breaking into your house--not breaking window--knocking for help. He didn't even try and see what kind of help she needed.

Andrea Isom: Renisha's family believes that's why she was there--knocking, looking for help. Though they don't know why or what happened from the time she left home from Dearborn Heights, but when neighbors saw a crowd of police cruisers, they asked investigators.

Neighbor 2: I said, "what's going on?" He said somebody tried to get in his house or force, and he got scared and shot the person.

Andrea Isom: Scared? Of Renisha? Her loved ones think that's a lie.

Bernita Spinks: What you did was not right. If you should have done anything, you should have called the police. 911. They're in Dearborn Heights. Police would have been there before you turned your face. The police would have been pulling up in 2 or 3 minutes in Dearborn Heights. He did not have to pull that gun out, and he did not have to kill my niece. Especially if she was leaving off the porch.

Neighbor 2: Just shooting a person for being scared? It don't make no sense to me.

Bernita Spinks: What was he afraid of?
Dmetria Burnett: He's the one with the gun.
Bernita Spinks: But he killed her. And he's out of jail? Wow. Could I possibly do that? Somebody knocked at the door and I pull my shotgun out and I shoot them while they're leaving off my porch instead of finding out what was the problem. Would I be standing here? No. I'd be in jail.

Dmetria Burnett: I'm lost for words. I just don't feel like he should have been released.

Andrea Isom: Renisha's family says she is quiet, hardworking, and keeps to herself and would never to anyone any harm, ever. Now police are not saying anything at all about this case except that they are still investigating. The family says they want justice and they're going to fight until they get it. Reporting live in Dearborn Heights I'm Andrea Isom on the edge.

Anchor: And Andrea to get this straight the victim did not know the family of the man who shot her? That is correct, right?

Andrea Isom: That is what the family says right now. They do not believe she knows this man at all. They believe somehow in her comings and goings--she went out Friday night--they believe this happened early Saturday morning. Sometime from the time she left home and was going to a friend's house something happened. They don't know exactly that is. They still don't know where her car is, so there's still a lot of unanswered questions. But they said in that time they believe she went to this house--maybe not knowing even where she was--asking, looking for help and they say because this man was afraid --thought she was an intruder instead of asking, inquiring of who she ways--they say he opened fire and now Renisha is dead.

Anchor: Let me also get this straight. The fatal wound was to the back of the head which means she was walking away at the time:

Andrea Isom: This is what the family says right now. We're still waiting for confirmation from police, but as I said right now they're not saying a lot. They issued a press release which was about three sentences, and they aren't saying much about this person. We wanted to know his status. We wanted to know is this guy at home right now? But that they're not saying. A whole lot more information we need to know and the family obviously wants to know too.

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